How to see Hobart in a day or two

from a Hop-on, hop-off bus

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The Hobart hop on hop off bus tour

If you’re looking for the unusual when you explore Australia, then Hobart is the place to go. For starters, this port city, capital of Tasmania, is nestled on an island, an estuary of the Derwent River. Surprisingly, it’s also one of the oldest capital cities in the country – preceded only by Sydney. It also offers outstanding scenery, with magnificent Mount Wellington as its backdrop, and it’s the home port for Antarctic operations for both Australia and France.

 

Hobart isn’t as large as many of Australia’s cities, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with lots of history, art and culture. It’s full of sandstone buildings, historic government structures, ancient settler’s cottages and waterfront warehouses. It’s a traditional harbour town with a major difference – where else but in Hobart could one see cows grazing in the middle of the city, or ancient riggers in the harbour next to modern yachts?

 

One thing is certain – you’ll find lots to keep you busy in Hobart. There is so much to see and do here, and the ideal way to explore this magical city is on the 20-stop hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus which provides a versatile option. You can choose the sights you’d like to see, and hop off the bus to explore them, then hop on the bus again to move onwards to your next destination.

 

Before you choose what you’d like to see, you can take the bus tour for the full 90 minutes and enjoy the informative commentary. This will give you an idea of what Hobart has to offer. After that, you can choose exactly which sights you want to see.

 

How much does it cost?

The 20-stop Hop-on Hop-off City Loop (Pass 1) takes 90 minutes, features Hobart’s best sights and attractions, and costs $26 per adult, $16 per child and $60 per family.

 

There are, however, all sorts of options, like Pass 2 (City Loop Tour PLUS a tour of Cascade’s Brewery, which is a 3 hour tour that allows you to explore Australia’s oldest brewery and see how one of its most popular beers is produced), Pass 3 (City Loop Tour PLUS a tour of Mount Wellington, including some lovely walks and spectacular views), or Pass 4 (City Loop Tour PLUS a tour of Cadbury Factory –

A great tour for chocolate lovers, this 2km guided walking tour gives you lots of opportunities to sample delicious chocolate as you watch it being made in the factory. And you can purchase some to take home with you in the factory shop – at bargain prices).  Click here to find out more details about the different options.

 

Departure times

Departs daily, at 10am, 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 1:30, 2:30pm and 3pm (Offpeak: 10am, 11am and 12 noon only)

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Places to see and things to do along the route

 

1. The bus tour begins at Hobart’s Travel Centre, where you can find out all about travelling around Tasmania, as Hobart is the gateway to this fascinating part of the country.

 

A short and nice slideshow of Hobart

2. You can hop on or off at Sullivan's Cove which is located near Hobart’s CBD. This is the city’s main port, the place where Hobart’s first settlers landed in 1804. It’s also called Macquarie Wharf, and here you will find many of the original historic 19th Century warehouses. They are still in use today; home to cafes, restaurants, artists’ studios and galleries. The University of Tasmania’s School of the Arts is also located here.

 

3. Next along your route you’ll find Salamanca Place, famous for its Saturday market. Lining the waterfront are a number of renovated warehouses, as well as bars, street cafes, restaurants and a selection of interesting shops. When the market is in full swing on Saturdays, the entire area is closed off and locals and tourists alike can enjoy great food, lively music and a variety of bargain wares, from hand-worked glass objects to fashionable clothes. You can explore further afield from here, by climbing Kelly’s Steps to see the Georgian cottages at Battery Point. You can also take a leisurely stroll over to the waterfront.

 

4. Hop off at Princess Park, close to Salamanca, which is located in historic Battery Point. Explore this popular playground area where every facility follows a boat theme in keeping with the harbour. At the edge of Princess Park you’ll find a semaphore station and signal mast – these used to signal ships that were entering into the harbour.

 

5. Hop off at the next stop to explore Battery Point where you’ll step back in time to the days when Hobart was still a fishing village and home to many sailors and maritime workers. Explore the ring of cottages surrounding Battery Point, called Arthurs Circus, and enjoy the area’s lovely tearooms, pubs, antique stores and restaurants.

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6. Next stop where you can hop on or off is St. George's Church, set on the hill in Battery Point.  The church, which was built in the Georgian style, was designed by two of Hobart’s earliest architects, John Lee Archer and James Blackburn, and consecrated in 1838. Its unusual three-tiered bell tower was a landmark for ships at sea, telling them that they had almost reached Hobart.

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Do you know? Although it is a fairly small town, Hobart has a lot to offer to its visitors, both in terms of history, as well as in terms of nature... Click here for the best of Hobart and its environs.

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7. St. George's Terrace is next, for those of you who want to take a walk through the old residential suburb, on their way to Sandy Bay Shopping Village (see 9 below).

 

8. Hop off at your stop to explore Wrest Point Casino in the suburb of Sandy Bay. This was the first legal casino in the country, used as a drawcard for tourists to Tasmania, which was relatively unknown in the 1960s. It’s located in a 17-floor Wrest Point Hotel building complete with revolving restaurant at the top, built by the famous architect Sir Roy Grounds and opened in 1973. The 64 metre hectagonal tower makes this Hobart’s tallest building.

 

9. For some retail therapy, you can hop off at the next stop, Sandy Bay Shopping Village, which also boasts a number of restaurants.

 

Cascade Brewery can be visited enroute the Hobart hop-on hop-off bus tour

Australia’s oldest brewery

10. Next hop off point is at the Cascade Brewery, Australia’s oldest brewery, which was opened in 1824 by Peter Degraves. In those days, Hobart was a little village with only 10,000 inhabitants, but already boasted 55 licensed pubs!  Here at the factory you can watch one of Australia’s most popular beers, Cascade Premium Lager, being produced. Explore the brewery to see how the lager is made, then sample various lagers at the Woodstock Homestead.

 

11. Next point along the route is the Cascades Female Factory. In the early-mid 19th Century, this was one of Australia's most infamous workhouses for female convicts. You can explore this historic site where the overcrowded prison used to be, as well as its memorial garden. The notorious prison was also the setting for the famous novel The Potato Factory, by Bryce Courtney.

 

12. Your next stop is at South Hobart Village, a little village in the centre of the suburb of South Hobart.

 

13. Your next hop off point is at the Village Cinema. From here, you can explore Hobart’s CBD or enjoy a luxury movie experience. The Village Cinema is one of three luxurious cinemas in Hobart, offering deluxe reclining chairs to sit in and wall-to-wall screens. You can also enjoy tasty food and wine in the exclusive food dining area.

 

14. HOBART CBD/BUS STATION is your next hop-on, hop-off point. From here, you can explore the area, go shopping, or dine out. It’s your choice… Elizabeth Street Mall is quite nice for people watching, particularly when it's nice and sunny.

 

15. Our next stop is also in Battery Point, at the Tasmanian Museum. This famous museum is full of information about Tasmania’s history, art and culture. It’s full of fascinating displays of items from the 19th Century. There’s an Art Gallery here, too, which boasts some magnificent art treasures.

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Do you know? Although it is a fairly small town, Hobart has a lot to offer to its visitors, both in terms of history, as well as in terms of nature... Click here for the best of Hobart and its environs.

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16. At the next stop you can hop off to explore the Maritime Museum, with its stunning collection of maritime artifacts. Located in the historic Carnegie Building, the museum boasts a wide selection of exhibits, including ship models, paintings, images, photographs and other relics.

 

17. Hop off to explore Old Hobart Gaol in the northern part of the city. The Gaol, which was built in 1831, served as Hobart’s maximum security prison until the beginning of the 1960s. It was designed by architect John Lee Archer in the Georgian Renaissance style. Here you can explore the prison’s underground passages, some of the cells used for solitary confinement and the execution yard. Also located here is the Penitentiary Chapel, one of Tasmania’s oldest buildings. Built in 1835, it was used for compulsory church services for the convicts.

 

18. The Aquatic Centre is your next hop-off point. This resort-style entertainment centre has a variety of facilities, including a swimming pool, whale-slides and water jets, gym and children’s area. It’s the ideal spot to come to cool down and enjoy a break from sightseeing.

 

Royal Botanic Garden in Hobart, Tasmnia

19. The next stop is at The Botanical Gardens, Hobart’s historic gardens that were established in 1818. Enjoy a break from the vibrant city - relax in this lush, peaceful setting with its 6,500 varieties of plants, including 400 plants unique to Tasmania. There’s also a lovely conservatory and a Japanese garden to explore, and the recent addition, the sub-antarctic plant house that features plants from Macquarie Island.

 

20. The last stop on the route is at Victoria Docks in the heart of Sullivan’s Cove. These are one of the oldest docks in Tasmania – they’ve been in operation since 1804. Constitution Dock is a joy to explore, with its take-away seafood eateries. Here you can sit and watch the harbour while sampling some of Hobart’s fresh fish and chips. Or, if you would prefer a more formal restaurant, you can head for Elizabeth Street Pier, which boasts a number of excellent seafood restaurants.

 

Although it is a fairly small town, Hobart has a lot to offer to its visitors... Click here to find out more.  

 

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And here is something worth knowing about: Taking a hop on hop off bus tour is one the best ways to see any large city, as it saves you plenty of precious holiday time and takes you EXACTLY where you want to go... (Not to mention the great cityscape views you can enjoy on the way...). Our "Hop on hop off guides" cover quite a few cities across the world, including SingaporeHong KongSydneyThe Blue MountainsPerth,  Canberra and many other destinations..... (Click on the links to go directly to the city-guide of your choice, or click here to go directly to our world hop-on, hop-off guide).

 

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